WWE News: Analyzing CM Punk's Non-WWE Return

Elliott Binks@https://twitter.com/elliottbinks92Senior Writer IIIMarch 10, 2014

Photo courtesy of WWE.com

CM Punk will return to television at the end of this week, but it won’t be in a professional wrestling capacity.

The Straightedge Superstar will instead be making a guest appearance on AMC’s Talking Dead this week, airing live from Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

First of all, I hope my title didn’t troll you guys. I’ve seen a few headlines already being deliberately ambiguous about where it is Punk will actually be returning to, and frankly, I didn’t want to be “that guy.”

But despite the fact that this news doesn’t relate directly to a return to the squared-circle, it’s a particularly interesting development nonetheless. But what exactly can we take from this?

While any conclusions that we draw from this remain mere speculation at this point, it’s worth noting that this is not something that is being endorsed by the WWE. Such guest appearances are often used as PR stunts or marketing tools, but in this instance, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Therefore, I don’t think this news suggests that Punk is any nearer to straightening out his differences with the company.

Furthermore, Punk was advertised for the show in casual attire. There was no action-shot or WWE stock photo used, and he was even referred to primarily as Phil Brooks—not CM Punk.

Photo courtesy of WWE.com

All this suggests that, if anything, Punk could be further away from amicability with the WWE than we first thought.

So what exactly is the purpose of Punk’s appearance?

For me, it seems that as far as Brooks is concerned, this is purely a personal matter. He’s been featured on the show before and is a self-proclaimed fan of both the Walking Dead TV series and the original comics themselves. But nonetheless it seems strange for Brooks to throw himself into the public eye like this, given the current circumstances.

He’s maintained complete silence on Twitter since his cryptic messages back on Jan. 27, so why break that now?

All of the signs seem to suggest, in my eyes at least, that this is just AMC’s attempt to drum up some interest. Brooks’ appearance is likely to capture the interest of his pro wrestling fans, and thus could be a clever method of boosting the ratings.

And though the show has no relation to Brooks' primary field of expertise, could host Chris Hardwick use this as an opportunity to gain a world exclusive from the man himself?

Brooks has appeared at UFC 170, where he was seen sitting next to Dana White as a “friend and a fan.” And although that generated a degree of buzz, we still didn’t hear a word from the exiled Superstar.

That could change this Sunday, though, as Brooks is thrust into the limelight for the first time since his Royal Rumble appearance way back at the end of January.

He’ll by no means be the star of the show, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Hardwick attempt to coax a statement out of the Second City Saint.

If you guys have any views on this situation, please feel free to comment below. It would be great to get your thoughts on this ever-evolving situation, even if we’re still only speculating at the point.

As always, thanks for reading.